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The Fairmont Olympic Hotel Opens Its Not-So-Secret Bar

Two new Seattle bars, and more intel

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A plush speakeasy interior with low leather sofa, vintage lamps, and a long, polished bar.
Founders Club is the “hidden” bar behind a bookcase at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Today, the historic downtown Fairmont Olympic Hotel opens its new speakeasy Founders Club, tucked just behind a bookcase at the Olympic Bar. Advertised as an intimate, spirit drinker’s enclave, Founders Club is a decadent hideaway, accented with leather couches, plush red chairs, and a mirrored ceiling, that seats up to 30 people. The emphasis at Founders Club is on aged and limited-edition spirits and cocktails by award-winning beverage curator Jesse Cyr. Some Founders Club cocktails include the Waterhouse Syndicate, made with 1792 small batch bourbon, and the Self Starter with Yuzugin, apricot brandy and absinthe.

Founders Club is a complement to the Olympic Bar that opened in April after a $25 million restoration of the hotel. Founders Club is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. to midnight, by reservation only.

Ballard’s Sabine Cafe & Market opens its back bar

Ballard’s favorite French restaurant Bastille closed during the pandemic, but owners James Weimann and Deming Maclise rebooted the space as Sabine Cafe & Market last October. One year later, Bar Sabine opens tonight, Wednesday, November 17, in the former space of Bastille Back Bar. Bar Sabine offers cocktails with fresh-squeezed juices, beer on tap, and a small menu of Middle Eastern dishes like za’atar fries, Dungeness crab dolma, and cheese baklava. The bar is open Wednesday and Thursday, from 4 p.m. to midnight, and Friday and Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Facing East moves five minutes east of its longtime location

Bellevue Taiwanese and Chinese restaurant Facing East is leaving its location of the last 15 years for a smaller location about five minutes down the road at 12736 Bel-Red Road. Known for popular dishes like the Taiwanese pork burger, beef noodle soup, and sweet and sour pork spareribs, Facing East’s new location has a larger kitchen, and will be takeout only, with an expanded selection of grab and go items. The owners’ daughter Jade Wong said the move is like “turning over a new leaf, but we’ll still have the classic things we’ve always had.”

The new space will feature commissioned work by artists Eian Hsu, Caroline Lee Liu, and Charlotte Hong. Facing East originally planned on opening this Thursday, November 18, but the moving process is taking longer than expected, Wong said, pushing the tentative opening date to some time next week.


5307 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 Visit Website

Olympic Bar

411 University Street, , WA 98101 (206) 621-1700 Visit Website

Facing East

1075 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 (425) 688-2986 Visit Website